The election has been called for October 21, and Women’s Shelters Canada is hard at work to ensure that ending violence against women is on the agenda!

During the 2015 federal election campaign, we, along with 20+ collaborators, called on all parties to include the development and implementation of a National Action Plan (NAP) on Violence against Women (VAW) in their party platform. Fast forward to 2019, Canada remains without a NAP on VAW.

We collectively issued a renewed call for all federal parties to incorporate a NAP on VAW into their platform and to refer to the 2015 Blueprint as a starting point. We used social media to get our message across and also wrote letters to all six party leaders appearing in the election debates.

And we had some success!

The Liberals, NDP, and Greens have all committed to implementing a NAP on VAW in their party platforms.

To help protect more people and bring an end to gender-based violence, we will build on the foundation we laid with the Gender-Based Violence Strategy and move forward with an additional $30 million investment to develop a National Action Plan. This will help ensure that anyone facing gender-based violence has reliable and timely access to protection and services, no matter who they are or where they live. – Liberal Party Platform

Our vision of Canada is one where women’s organizations have stable funding so that women can access the support and advocacy they need, when they need it. We’ll develop a National Action Plan to end gender-based violence, backed by funding to ensure that shelter services and other programs are available in all regions of the country, especially areas that have traditionally been underserved. – NDP Platform

A Green government will, in collaboration with women’s and Indigenous organizations, develop a comprehensive Canada-wide plan of action – with a timetable and dedicated funding – to eliminate violence against women, girls and gender-diverse people. – Green Party Platform

This is fantastic, but three out of six federal parties still means we’re only halfway there.

Ending violence against women is a non-partisan issue. Where do the other parties stand on violence against women? We encourage you to contact your local Conservative, Bloc, and PPC candidates to ask where they and their party stand on ending violence against women.

Currently, the services a woman fleeing violence can access varies according to where she lives in the country. This is unacceptable, as the services you receive should not depend on your postal code.

We need a multi-pronged, coordinated, pan-Canadian approach to ending violence against women. A NAP on VAW must be adequately funded and resourced, involving all levels of government as well as consultation with frontline workers and survivors. Women in Canada deserve nothing less.